Alun Hoddinott was born in Bargoed, Glamorganshire, in 1929. His compostional talents developed early, and he won a university scholarshop at the age of sixteen. After graduating from University College, Cardiff, he studied for some years with the Australian composer and pianist, Arthur Benjamin. He was awarded the Walford Davies prize for composition when he was twenty-four, and achieved his first national success a year later when his Clarinet Concerto was given its first performance at the Cheltenham Festival by Gervase de Peyer and the Hallé Orchestra, under Sir John Barbirolli. In 1951 he was appointed lecturer in music at the Welsh College of Music and Drama; he later became lecturer at University College, Cardiff and was made Professor and Head of Department there in 1967.
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